Saturday, October 19, 2013

Preview: Norwegian actor with Down syndrome plays 'Detective Downs'

From Digital Journal:

Norwegian Director Bård Breien has made a film about a private detective with Down's Syndrome. Svein André Hofsø, the film's star, suffers from the condition and has recently won an award for his acting efforts. 
In the official trailer (in the link above with English sub-titles) we see Hofsø, dressed as all private eyes should be, in a trench coat, with a hat cocked over his eye and an enigmatic cigarette drooping from his lips. 
However, this is a different private detective — one that suffers from Down's Syndrome. Hofsø himself suffers from the condition, and plays the part perfectly. 
However, despite having the perfect appearance as a private eye, he lacks any cases, and a lady decides to help him in his quest. And what makes him different is the fact that he uses empathy to solve his cases.  
Jon Sopel of the BBC asked director Bård Breien how he got the idea for the film, which has caused huge interest abroad. Breien said: I was fed up with the usual detective routine. I said if I'm ever going to make a film about a detective, he's going to have Down's Syndrome.
The leading actor, 33-year-old Hofsø, had previously appeared in an amateur film made by his brother and sister and enjoyed acting. He then spent a year preparing for the part in Detective Downs, and his excellent performance has challenged viewers' assumptions about what Down's Syndrome people are actually capable of. Hofsø won an award for best actor in September at the Fantastic Fest film festival in Texas and says that if the film is a success, he may consider a film career. 
"We have no plans to make number two yet, but it is a good idea. If this film is going to be success, maybe," he said. Breien said: "A lot of people told me that it might end up on the bad taste side of it. It was a struggle to make him act so well that he became a beautiful main film character.
The film will premiere in Norway in November 2013.